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BREAKING NEWS; Vikings picked to finish last in NFC North

There are a lot of reasons to be down on the 2024 Minnesota Vikings. The team couldn’t stop the turnovers last season, tanking their season. They lost their best pass rusher (Danielle Hunter) and their starting quarterback (Kirk Cousins) in free agency. The NFC North is one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, with the Lions making the NFC Championship game last season, and both the Packers and Bears building formidable teams.

With that context, Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report has picked the Minnesota Vikings to finish last in the NFC North this season. In his article, going division-by-division to pick the last-place team, the Vikings get the short end of the stick for theirs. Questions at quarterback are the main factor, as Moton says

(…) The Vikings lost quarterback Kirk Cousins in free agency and signed Sam Darnold, who has had issues with turnovers in his six seasons.

Rookie first-rounder J.J. McCarthy may not be ready to take the reins under center after serving as more of a game manager than a playmaker at Michigan over the last two years.

Head coach and offensive play-caller Kevin O’Connell may be able to get the best out of Darnold as he did with Cousins. Darnold will make plays with Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson on the receiving end.

However, the Vikings will likely have to live with Darnold’s stretch of erratic plays, which may hurt them in several close games.

If there’s a silver lining in the Vikings’ being picked last, it’s that Moton still has some faith in the team’s success. While they’re picked to bring up the rear in the NFC North, Moton has them tied with the Cleveland Browns of the AFC North as having the best record of all last-place finishers: 8-9. Based on Moton’s projections, that record would be good for second in both the NFC East and NFC South.

That 8-9 mark would likely have the Vikings picking outside the top 10 and going over the O/U line placed for them by most Vegas sportsbooks. So, while Moton may not like them within the context of the division, he clearly still has some faith in them. With guys like Justin Jefferson, Aaron Jones, T.J. Hockenson, and Jordan Addison still in the fold, it’s easy to see why.

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